Rome: 8 amusing curiosities

Who I am
Joel Fulleda

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When we go online looking for news about ours Italian capital mostly we care about the what to see in Rome, sometimes limiting ourselves to taking note of the best known interesting sites that cannot be missed. It is one of our priorities, along with some news on food, the climate and the events in Rome. But sometimes it is not enough, the usual Roman itineraries get bored and we go hunting for curiosity and bizarre things. Well, here you are served.


  1. Roman specialties
  2. Being a voyeur is ok
  3. Be amazed by the perspective
  4. Common saying
  5. Book in any hotel?
  6. Buying water in Rome
  7. The magic door
  8. Not just coins
  9. User questions and comments

Roman specialties

Have you ever visited Rome in the summer? What is traditionally eaten? The scratcher! Well, have you ever wondered where this name comes from? Very easy: from "scratching the fag", that is the large blocks of ice that were used to keep food fresh.

Being a voyeur is ok

For once, feel like voyeurs and go and spy on St. Peter's through the keyhole of the gate villa of the Priory of Malta on the Aventine hill.

Be amazed by the perspective

Go to the Saint Peter Basilica starting from Villa Pamphili passing through via Niccolò Piccolomini. You will notice that the closer you get, the more the dome recedes, while if you walk backwards the dome seems to get bigger: it is not witchcraft, but only a game of perspectives.

Common saying

Why in Rome do they say "me sembri er faro der Gianicolo" when one dresses in a whimsical way? Because among the things to see in the Eternal City (before going to sleep) there is precisely the Gianicolo lighthouse, which is lit during national celebrations, on the Aventine Hill whose colors are white, green and red to symbolize the tricolor.

Book in any hotel?

If you are not satisfied with sleeping in any hotel in Rome, choose the Ottaviano district, boundary line between the Vatican State and the Italian State, to immerse yourself in an atmosphere halfway between the sacred and the profane (such accommodation is very useful if you have mainly marked the Vatican among the things to see in Rome).

Buying water in Rome

Absolutely not to do. Water in Rome is free and it is taken from the public fountains that you find scattered around the city. However, do not ask for fountains but for "nasoni", because this is their name. It derives from the fact that initially the water outlets were three and in the shape of a dragon, while now they have been replaced by a single long and smooth tube called "big nose".

The magic door

According to tradition, the Magic Door of Rome (Villa Palombara all'Esquilino) would be an alchemical door that would reveal the mystery of to turn all metals into gold. The symbols would have been engraved by Massimiliano Palombara who would have come to know them through a former Jesuit heretic who then disappeared into thin air.

Not just coins

Custom has it that a coin is tossed into the Trevi Fountain, a ritual inspired by the film "Three soldi in the Trevi fountain", where the coin was thrown to guarantee the return to Rome. But there are also other customs. For example, the girls who greeted the departing boyfriend had to make him drink a glass of water from the fountain and then break it, so he would come back.

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